Opcenter helps medical device manufacturer reduce material release from days to minutes

Product: Opcenter
Industry: Medic

Terumo Americas is a global leader in medical device industry manufacturing life-supporting and sustaining Class III devices across four divisions over the last 50 years, including interventional systems, injection and infusion therapy devices and drug delivery devices.

Terumo Americas’ Siemens-based MES implementation over a decade ago resulted in the reduction of NCRs and complaints by 40 – 60%. In 2018, they built on this initial success with a larger digital transformation initiative. With SAP S/4HANA selected as its ERP, Terumo Americas leadership selected Siemens as its strategic partner for manufacturing operations management (MOM), implementing Siemens Opcenter Execution for Medical Device and Diagnostics. These would serve as the major enterprise systems for their digital factories around the world.

“We set out to build our digital factories of the future, this initiative was not about technology. It was about transforming the way we did business.” – Kalyan Balsubramanian, Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Terumo Americas.

Terumo implemented Siemens Opcenter in their facility in Puerto Rico, with a go live on the same day as the SAP go live. They achieved what they considered the pinnacle of MES goals, the generation of eDHRs. They simultaneously went live at their largest site in Elkton, Maryland.

“Both implementations were extremely successful” said Rick Larrieu, Vice President of Global IT Applications and Infrastructure at Terumo Americas. “We leveraged Siemens’ expertise to help us build the roadmap and the implementation plan. We learned a lot from that experience, which will help us adapt for future deployments, as well as our integration with automation equipment.”

Terumo Americas’ goal was to integrate their business logistics layer, ERP, with their manufacturing operations layer, MOM, and connect with automation and sensors – ultimately building the framework for Industry 4.0. At the same time, Terumo needed to scale their production not only of quality products, but quality processes. The complexity of their compliance requirements, especially with the US FDA, were daunting.

“The transition to eDHRs has been of the utmost importance, before, we had to review a stack of papers 5 inches thick for the release of every material batch, which took a full day or more. With Opcenter, we are able to release batches in under 30 minutes.”

– Rick Larrieu Vice President of Global IT Applications and Infrastructure Terumo Americas

The paperless manufacturing environment delivered by Siemens Opcenter was transformational for productivity, as well as the streamlining of quality processes. Terumo found that their previous product nonconformances had been caused by paperwork and data entry errors. As the MES controlled each of the data entry points, they were able to reduce their nonconformances dramatically.

Another impact of digitalization was on the culture of the manufacturing organization. “This was not a technology initiative,” said Balsubramanian.

We leveraged the Siemens expertise to help us build the roadmap and the implementation plan. We learned a lot from that experience, which will help us adapt for future deployments, as well as our integration with automation equipment.”

– Rick Larrieu Vice President of Global IT Applications and Infrastructure Terumo Americas

Powering sustainable pharmaceutical manufacturing with factory simulation software

Product: Tecnomatix
Industry: Pharmaceuticals

Explore how Siemens Tecnomatix Plant Simulation and Opcenter solutions help to digitalize pharmaceutical manufacturing for sustainable efficiency.

In the heart of Glasgow, Scotland, the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre (MMIC) spearheads a transformative journey within the pharmaceutical (pharma) industry. CPI, technology innovation catalyst, opened the world leading MMIC to raise the bar in pharmaceutical manufacturing by redefining the future of pharmaceutical production with cutting-edge digital technology, collaborative expertise and more sustainable manufacturing practices. The MMIC is a unique collaboration between CPI and 23 partner organizations from all different sectors.

MMIC is an open-access collaborative innovation center specific to pharma manufacturing, meaning they work with numerous partners, such as industry giants like GSK, Pfizer and Novartis as well as partners from business, academia and government agencies Their collaboration for pharma manufacturing aims to deliver innovation that drives new processes and products into the pharma industry using Siemens digitalization solutions to tackle issues such as the development of more sustainable manufacturing processes.

The unique pharma manufacturing challenge

MMIC works with pharma companies, as well as technology companies and equipment manufacturers that provide technology to help the industry. However, one of the center’s challenges relates to maintaining the truest sense of collaboration through digitalization by creating a standard architecture that allows the factories to build consistently. This includes streamlining processes, accelerating development, and reducing waste and energy consumption, which is where Plant Simulation in the Tecnomatix® portfolio comes into play. By creating a digital twin based on real data, Tecnomatix empowers operators to optimize processes, minimize waste and enhance efficiency. Driving the center’s innovation engine is the digital twin. With it, pharma companies can design everything from the smallest single product, to manufacturing processes, to the entire factory, and detail and tweak each as needed. From identifying which materials work well to storing the the finished products, Tecnomatix Plant Simulation lets operators choose the right modules, conduct tests, and avoid bottlenecks.

The tool that we’ve used most for our digital twins for design is Tecnomatix. Our industrial partners set our digital ambition and my team delivers it.”

The major pharma’s success also lies in leveraging Siemens Opcenter™ Execution alongside Tecnomatix. This seamless integration among Siemens digital manufacturing software is a perfect example of how the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio ensures a streamlined experience for software users. Opcenter is a key element of the digital twin, ensuring the manufacturing execution is performed correctly and provides full traceability of the product and process. MMIC can now ensure information tracking, regulated process control and simplified approval processes. With customized dashboards consolidating data from various systems, personnel can make faster, more informed decisions, driving efficiency and agility.

Tecnomatix Plant Simulation and Opcenter software drive manufacturing success

At the core of innovation lies the digital twin, powered by Tecnomatix. The factory simulation software enables pharmaceutical companies to design and fine-tune every aspect of manufacturing processes, from individual products to entire factories. By simulation scenarios and identifying optimal solutions, Tecnomatix drives efficiency and minimizes waste. Not to mention, real-time data further enhances simulation accuracy, with Simatic® Real-time Location Services (RTLS) providing insights into object movement within the facility. This integration closes the loop between simulation and reality, facilitating continuous improvement and optimization.

Beyond efficiency gains, the center embraces sustainability as a core principle. Collaborating with Siemens consultants, MMIC was able to deploy automation, optimize processes and adopt smart building solutions to reduce their carbon footprint. The strive for sustainability is paramount for MMIC, which is enabled by Siemens digitalization solutions. Tecnomatix Plant Simulation emerges as a cornerstone in the pharmaceutical industry’s journey towards sustainability and efficiency. By optimizing processes, reducing waste and embracing digitalization, the MMIC sets a precedent for clean and sustainable manufacturing practices. With Tecnomatix as a driving success factor, the future of pharma manufacturing looks brighter, greener and more efficient than ever before.

OKQ8 Creates Future-proof Digital Depot Management

Sweden’s leading fuel company uses Siemens Digital Enterprise portfolio and partner PlantVision for digital transformation in the Oil and Gas Industry

OKQ8, one of Sweden’s largest fuel companies, has increased operational reliability with a fully automatic depot management solution. Using Siemens Digital Industries Software solution partner, PlantVision AB, and the Siemens Digital Enterprise portfolio, OKQ8 has fully automated the fuel loading and unloading process, with full control and traceability in a modern, future-proof system.

OKQ8 was struggling to streamline their depot management. They needed better traceability, reliability, and user assistance to meet their customer follow-up needs. They wanted to create a more stable and efficient solution using trusted products and implementation resources.

OKQ8 chose the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio and PlantVision as their partners for digital transformation. Using Siemens SIMATIC PCS 7, COMOS, SMIT and Opcenter Execution Process software, OKQ8 knew that they had trusted solutions that had been vetted in the industry. PlantVision’s expertise with this full portfolio of products ensured the success of the project.

“It is great to have integration between all systems,” said Johan Bergstrand, automation engineer at PlantVision. “Having a standardized and integrated platform with COMOS, SIMIT, Opcenter Execution Process and SIMATIC PCS 7 connects everything in one database. Recipe management, I/Os and all the information are in the same place and synced between the systems. It is smart engineering.”

OKQ8 says the handling, which consists of loading, unloading, inventory levels, administration and invoicing, is now fully automated. The result is a reliable, modern, future-proof and significantly more efficient and traceable solution for depot management that can also be used for follow up and documentation.

Read the entire case study to learn how OKQ8 leveraged Siemens’ solutions and partner PlantVision to transform their depot management, the details of their implementation, and key learnings for your own operations.

BASF reduces batch production time by 5 – 10%


Using Siemens Opcenter, leading chemicals company streamlines production with digital manufacturing

BASF, one of the world’s largest chemical companies, has achieved the highest levels of operational excellence by streamlining the production of their crop protection solutions for soil management, plant health, pest control and digital farming. Their Xemium® product is an active and environmentally safe fungicide that enables highly reliable crop protection for greater yields, helping growers combine profitability with environment protection.

Xemium production runs 24 hours a day, 365 days per year and involves both continuous and batch processes as well as laboratory analyses for quality control and end-of-line packaging. BASF sought a digital solution that would help them reliably produce and package their fungicides, improve production transparency, and maximize productivity. They chose Siemens Opcenter as their foundation for digital manufacturing.

Opcenter allowed BASF to create vertical process integration, closing the digital gap between ERP and SCADA systems. Quality control was integrated throughout their digitalized production processes, with handheld scanners improving their data acquisition from operations.

The result was a complete digital thread that streamlined their manufacturing operations, reducing their batch production time by 5 to 10 percent. They were able to eliminate 5 days of manual paperwork per month by digitalizing their processes and capturing production data automatically. Their fungicide supply was delivered on a more timely schedule for their customers, promoting sustainable, high-yield farming.

GROB automates manufacturing of CNC machines for the automotive industry

Product: NX CAM
Industry: Automotive

GROB-WERKE GmbH & Co. KG (GROB) is a family-owned company and leading manufacturer of production plants and CNC machines for the automotive industry, ranging from universal machining centers to fully automated production and assembly systems.

GROB faces several business challenges, including:

  • Designing leading-edge automotive production equipment
  • Using standardization to manage high customization level
  • Relying on global engineering collaboration
  • Maintaining their leadership position in competitive industry

GROB owes a large part of its success thanks to the ability to anticipate and quickly respond to changing market trends using a high level of automation. With Siemens’ Xcelerator software portfolio, GROB’s engineers can design, engineer, and manufacture production equipment and CNC machines for the automotive industry.

Automate CNC machines in the automotive industry with NX CAM

GROB engineers create a digital twin of each production machine and line using NX. They also use NX CAM to automatically create CNC programs using Feature-Based Machining. This capability helps GROB’s programmers to create a machining rule library containing standard bore types, pockets and surface definitions, including the tools required for machining operations. Before sending the CNC programs to the machine tools, the engineers simulate complete machining processes using the NX CAM’s machining simulation capabilities, ensuring error-free production on the shop floor.

To better collaborate, the engineers exchange 3D models between production facilities, using Teamcenter as the central information hub. These models are then CNC programed locally, making it easier for the engineers at each facility to adjust the CNC programs according to the available resources and equipment.

Using NX CAM for fea­ture-based machining helped us automate design and CNC programming work. Recognizing 95 percent of GROB standard bore types and 70 to 80 percent of other fea­tures, the automatic feature recognition has reduced CNC programming time by 30 percent and considerably reduced the number of different tools used.

W.A. Pfeiffer grows the business with digital manufacturing

Product: NX Manufacturing
Industry: Components

W. Andreas Pfeiffer – Maschinen- und Apparatebau manufactures precision components for a wide variety of applications such as optical devices, machinery, and medical technology. This relatively small but highly-successful company competes globally with only 25 employees and 16 CNC machines in their production facility in the picturesque town of Zirndorf, Germany.

By using the digital manufacturing capabilities of Siemens Xcelerator, W.A. Pfeiffer transformed their operation, manufacturing high-quality products and continuously growing the business, despite the highly competitive global market. 

Building a seamless digital manufacturing process

Operating as a small company, W.A. Pfeiffer faced difficulties in growing and increasing new capabilities at their location, as the facility cannot be physically expanded further. Andreas Pfeiffer, CEO, recognizes  the challenging circumstances but knows embracing digitalization would provide its operations with a competitive edge. “The goal is to achieve higher production automation and end-to-end connectivity so that we can reduce set-up times and minimize throughput times,” said Andreas Pfeiffer, CEO.

To eliminate these challenges, W.A. Pfeiffer now operates as an all-encompassing digital CAD/CAM/CNC chain to transform the business into a digital machine shop.

For W.A. Pfeiffer the Teamcenter PLM software helps with the management of all the data for the part manufacturing process, which begins with the incoming customer order. 3D data is seamlessly transferred from Teamcenter to NX CAD/CAM to generate programs for the CNC machines. Using Mcenter, formerly SINUMERIK Integrate, the CNC programs and tool lists are seamlessly transferred to production.

By integrating order planning into the digital manufacturing process, W.A. Pfeiffer witnessed immediate improvements with setup and throughput times. Opcenter APS helps them to access detailed information about production orders and monitor resource utilization.

W.A. Pfeiffer’s customer and supplier relations have significantly advanced, and internal collaboration is better streamlined by using Siemens’ range of software solutions.

High-performance machining with NX CAM    

NX CAM software helped W.A. Pfeiffer to improve productivity both during the planning and in the production phase. The company leverages NX’s advanced capabilities to create innovative high-speed machining strategies and generate machine-specific NC programs using cloud-based postprocessing.  

Thanks to the G-code-driven simulation in NX, engineers can digitally verify the generated operations. The advanced capability allows them to evaluate and optimize the processes before transferring them to production, saving setup time and increasing machine uptime. Siemens’ NX CAM helps the company run error-free and highly efficient part production on the shop floor.

The digital machine shop advantages

This highly successful yet lean company relies on the Siemens’ digital solutions to continuously grow and scale their manufacturing business. With the introduction of NX CAM, Teamcenter, Opcenter APS, and Mcenter, W.A. Pfeiffer achieved higher automation, seamless end-to-end connectivity, and shorter lead times.  

Using advanced toolpath technologies helped W. Andreas Pfeiffer reduce the machining cycle by 25% while extending tool life. I expect that we will be able to reduce setup times by up to 50% overall.

Andreas Pfeiffer, CEO

Wipro PARI reduces commissioning time by 70%

Product: Tecnomatix
Industry: Automation

Leading automation developer uses Tecnomatix Process Simulate from Siemens to validate engine assembly line in three months

Wipro PARI is a leading global developer of automation and robotic systems that was founded in 1990. Headquartered in Pune, India, its customers include established automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) such as Daimler, Mahindra, Ford, FCA, TATA, VinFast, Renault Nissan, and The PSA Group.  Wipro PARI designs, manufactures, and installs complete, automated systems, including multi-station lines for machining and powertrain component assemblies.

Wipro PARI sought to digitalize their manual engineering efforts.  The company wanted to reduce work in manufacturing, eliminate unexpected software bugs that were delaying the physical commissioning process, and accelerate the time from machine commissioning to live production.

Wipro PARI selected Process Simulate in the Tecnomatix® portfolio from Siemens for their virtual commissioning (VC) solution. The VC process uses simulation technology to create a digital twin of a plant for testing changes before physically implementing them.  VC enables manufacturers to perform end-to-end virtual verification, mechanical and control systems design, as well as risk and failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA).  This solution ultimately enables engineers to avoid cost-intensive rework.

By incorporating VC into an automotive OEM project for a large machining line, Wipro PARI minimized rework by as much as 50 percent and reduced delivery time by as much as 10 percent.  “Virtual commissioning enables us to validate and optimize equipment performance for all complex use cases and failure modes early in the project lifecycle,” claims Dr. Ranjit Date, chief executive officer (CEO) of Wipro PARI.

Wipro PARI completed another VC project of a production volume-up on a brownfield engine assembly line in three months from design to shop floor commissioning.  This could have been a six-to-eight-month job in normal conditions.  In addition to improving process reliability and resolving design and process issues early on, they reduced on-site commissioning time by 70 percent.

“With Siemens’ solution, we have significantly improved performance ramp up and mitigated risks,” states Date.  They also improved collaboration between design and manufacturing by removing barriers between mechanical, electrical, and controls engineers.

Siemens simulation software powers Continental’s digital manufacturing journey

Product: Tecnomatix
Industry: Automotive

The realm of smart automation is complex and encompasses the integration of advanced technologies and intelligent systems to enhance and automate industrial processes. Explore the convergence of simulation and smart automation between Siemens Digital Industries Software and Continental, a major player in automotive technology, dedicated to sustainable and connected mobility solutions. Explore how Siemens simulation software in the Tecnomatix® portfolio powers Continental’s digital manufacturing transformation. Dive into the intricate world where Process Simulate and Plant Simulation help coordinate a symphony of efficiency for Continental. 

Founded in 1871, Continental is renowned for pioneering technologies that ensure safe, efficient, intelligent and affordable solutions for vehicles, machines and transportation. Jakub Hamerník, Continental’s Smart Automation Manager, sheds light on the profound impact of how Siemens software enables seamless digitalization on the shop floor, transforming processes and applications to enhance production timelines and efficiency. Siemens and Continental, long-time collaborators in PLCs and control systems, have deepened their partnership in recent years, particularly focusing on simulation. A pivotal aspect of this collaboration is the development of the digital twin factory, specifically the collection of production line data for future optimization, tracking and analysis. 

A new standard: a collaborative approach to manufacturing efficiency  

Central to this partnership is the challenge of streamlining the process flow from raw material to the end of production. Siemens simulation products play a critical role in providing comprehensive process information well before the production line delivery. This marks a significant departure from the previous norm, where engineers spent three to five years on the task. With Siemens, this duration has been slashed to a remarkable one and a half years, setting a new standard in the industry. 

Thanks to the Siemens products, we have all relevant information from the process point of view prepared months before the delivery of the production line. Before, the engineers would take 3-5 years to make it. Now we are able to make it in 1.5 years.”

Jakub Hamerník, Continental, Smart Automation Manager 

In a dynamic environment where original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) frequently update their car models, Continental recognizes the imperative to deliver new products efficiently and timely. Siemens software solutions enable Continental to meet these demands, facilitating the optimization of overall equipment efficiency (OEE) on production lines. 

Continental’s vision extends beyond the production floor, aiming to integrate Siemens’ products with their manufacturing execution system (MES) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. The goal is to establish a complete digital twin of the factory, effectively bringing IT applications to the shop floor. This comprehensive approach will provide insights into the entire end-to-end process, enabling real-time monitoring of goods, production progress and delivery timelines. 

From concept to reality: Siemens and Continental’s strategic partnership 

A moment of revelation for Continental occurred when its production line seamlessly transitioned without collisions. The simulation-derived cycle time was accurate, allowing Continental to commence production immediately after activation—a ‘wow effect’ resonating with both Jakub and Continental management. 

Teamcenter Easy Plan does what it says

Product: Teamcenter
Industry: Home appliances

Teamcenter Easy Plan at BSH Home Appliances

We love to hear how Teamcenter and Siemens Xcelerator tools help our customers succeed. This story looks at the global roll-out of Teamcenter Easy Plan at BSH Home Appliances. We were lucky enough to go straight to the heart of Germany to the BSH plant in Giengen to see the results firsthand.

I don’t know how many of you have been shopping for a new refrigerator lately, but the selection seems mind-bogglingly endless compared to what I remember from my first fridge purchase in the 1990s. It used to be that you just measured your space, tallied up your budget, and, presto, out you went to your local (Siemens) dealer to buy a classic white stand-up model with a little freezer unit on top.

Today, all this has changed. Or at least most of it. You’ll probably hit the Internet for reviews and ideas, maybe google for the best price and performance, and then the tough decisions start: which fridge do you choose?

Brands, model variations and more

First, do you want a freestanding or a built-in? Then what size exactly? What about finishings: inox, black glass, a color, or plain old white? Glossy, matte or in-between? Fridge on top and freezer on the bottom? Or vice-versa? American side-by-side doors? French doors? Mid-storage drawers? Door-in-door technology? Craft icemaker? And water dispensers of all shapes and sizes…Not only how do you select one? How do you manufacture all this choice? Earlier this year, we were lucky enough to visit BSH Home Appliances in Giengen, Germany to hear how Teamcenter Easy Plan helps.

BSH Home Appliances is one of the largest manufacturers of its kind in the world and is number one in Europe. BSH manufactures refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, induction cooktops, cordless vacuum cleaners, espresso machines and much more for well-known and respected brands like Bosch, Siemens, NEFF and Gaggenau.

With 62,000 employees and 41 plants worldwide (at time of publishing this blog), BSH manages a huge portfolio with hundreds of product variants on a global scale. Production can vary from plants that make only washing machines to plants like the one in Giengen, which makes only built-in refrigerators and freezers. Other BSH sites focus on small innovative appliances like espresso machines and cordless vacuum cleaners. In most cases, each of the 41 BSH sites manufacture product variants for more than one brand.

“Imagine a production line with over several hundred products,” says Philipp Winter, an IT business consultant in the Global Digital Services Department of BSH Digital Factory. “Our production lines have to adapt constantly, as well as line operators and the planners.”.

Manufacturing planning complexity

Depending on the plant, operators might build twenty-five Siemens built-in refrigerator models followed by 25 Bosch models with different tray designs and then still other different models for other brands – all on the same line. Other plants might have robotic lines that makes slightly different home appliance models for every type of consumer in the portfolio.

It is hard to imagine how one starts to organize such a complex production process on a global scale. But Philipp Winter, an IT business consultant in the Global Digital Services Department of BSH Digital Factory, and his colleague, Sacha Weckend, an industrial engineer responsible for the Teamcenter Easy Plan implementation at the Giengen, Germany plant were happy to explain how they count on Siemens tools for manufacturing planning.

As you see, BSH uses Teamcenter® software to runs its entire product development database. In 2015, BSH extended this to all manufacturing and planning data, integrating Teamcenter and the Tecnomatix® portfolio, which are part of the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio, the comprehensive and integrated portfolio of software, hardware and services, into its digital factory ecosystem.

At most of the BSH locations, local industrial engineers and planners have access to tools including Easy Plan, which is built on top of Teamcenter, Process Simulate in the Tecnomatix portfolio and Line Designer. These tools allow BSH to organize and optimize production lines for maximum performance for globally distributed plants, complex product variation schemes, line balancing, productivity and production efficiency, human health and safety issues, robotics and even collaborative robots (cobotics).

Teamcenter Easy Plan is just very easy to use

“You reach a limit at some point where you need special software to face and challenge this complexity in manufacturing,” says Winter. “We have leveraged digital manufacturing solutions from the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio for many years. This has resulted in an accurate digital twin of our factory ecosystem. Now we have added Easy Plan, which is our latest planning software, to do our line balancing and all our time management on the production lines.”

“We have specific cycle times for our assembly lines,” says Sasha Weckend. “For each workstation we try to find the perfect amount of work content. You can learn Easy Plan quite fast. It is easy for me to train new colleagues, trainees and students. The user interface is quite intuitive. If you have worked with an internet browser then you know where you have to click with Easy Plan. Easy Plan is just very easy to use. I think this is why the implementation is quite seamless.”

So, thanks to some pretty special Siemens software, an accurate digital twin of the BSH factory ecosystem, and the ease-of-use of Teamcenter Easy Plan, it looks like BSH Home Appliances is well on its way to successfully tackling modern-day process and product complexity to make the fridges (and home appliances) we will want to buy in the future.

Audi uses Simcenter to enhance the accuracy and speed of simulations for EV batteries

Product: Simcenter
Industry: Automotive

Developing safer, more reliable EV batteries

Accurately predicting the thermal performance of EV batteries is perhaps the most critical challenge facing automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Batteries have a temperature zone they can operate in to avoid failure. If the battery goes outside this zone, it can reduce the battery’s lifetime or even jeopardize occupant safety.

It is therefore no surprise that Audi, a brand known worldwide for its superior premium vehicles, has formed a highly specialized team dedicated to high voltage battery system concept development. Located in Germany, this team’s contributions are crucial to Audi’s vision of designing the mobility of tomorrow and ensuring an exceptional driving experience that is digital, electric and sustainable.

Increasing thermal model accuracy

Joohwa Sarah Lee, concept development engineer, is part of this team and specializes in battery thermal performance.

“Building accurate thermal simulation models is a critical aspect of my team’s work,” says Lee. “The models themselves are very important, as they directly contribute to our goal of optimizing thermal performance of the batteries.”

In 2021, Lee and her team discovered that, for certain cases and conditions, the simulation output did not match the test measurements. As a result, Lee set out to improve the quality of these simulation models. Lee and her team selected Siemens Digital Industries Software’s Simcenter™ Engineering and Consulting services as a development partner.

“We selected Simcenter because their tools enabled a seamless connection between not only 1D and 3D models, but also connectivity to third-party tools,” says Lee. “Simcenter Engineering Services provided the technical knowledge and support to help us set up these integrations and ensure the highest possible accuracy.”

Combining 1D and 3D simulations

Traditionally, module and pack geometry have been modeled using 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) thermal simulation. This method has significant computational costs and can take days or weeks to complete. Additionally, extensive knowledge of parameters and 3D simulation experience is required to produce an accurate 3D model. Performing 1D system simulation is much faster, but it is often challenging to generate 1D models from a 3D model without compromising accuracy.

Simcenter Engineering Services set out to create a faster, more accurate battery stack thermal model to support Audi’s battery management systems, from the initial strategy development to validation with the rest of the vehicle’s subsystems. These models needed to consider several parameters, including current, coolant temperature variations, connectivity with 1D electrical models and integration with MATLAB/Simulink. Lee and her team provided the Simcenter team with test cases and boundary conditions for a variety of scenarios.

A customized workflow

By combining Simcenter STAR-CCM+™ software and Simcenter Amesim™ software, which are part of the Siemens Xcelerator business platform of software, hardware and service, Simcenter Engineering Services experts developed a semiautomated workflow to generate a 1D system-level model in Simcenter Amesim from a 3D Simcenter STAR-CCM+ model. The purpose of this workflow was to make sure Audi’s 1D simulation users could benefit from the high level of detail provided by 3D models while also maintaining the speed of 1D simulation.

Using specified inputs, Simcenter STAR-CCM+ was used to calculate several steady state conditions covering the chosen design space, such as inlet coolant temperature, flow rate and current. The data can then be used to derive a 1D electro-thermal model for investigating transient scenarios for the complete stack.

Reducing time, increasing accuracy

The workflow developed by Simcenter Engineering Services experts has reduced the computational time of battery thermal simulations to just minutes. One of the most vivid examples is simulating an EV battery charging scenario from 10 percent battery capacity to 80 percent.

“As a result of our project with Simcenter Engineering Services, we were able to reduce the simulation time of the charging scenario from almost an entire day to less than a minute,” Lee says. “This is a huge difference in calculation time. We have also seen a significant improvement in the simulation results, especially for thermal behavior studies.

“We explored other solutions for this problem, but no other company offered the level of connectivity between tools that Siemens did. Combining a detailed 3D model in Simcenter STAR-CCM+ with the speed and efficiency of Simcenter Amesim and third-party tools supported by the Simcenter Engineering Services team provided a crucial advantage. We are also excited to explore other aspects of the Simcenter portfolio, including Simcenter Battery Design Studio.”

Lee and her team are optimistic about the future of their partnership with Simcenter Engineering Services.

“We will continue to apply our new tools and methodologies to future challenges,” says Lee. “We are thankful for the support provided by the Simcenter Engineering Services team and their willingness and ability to help us solve difficult problems.”

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